Chapter 31

1 My words have been spoken by God—the oracular answer of a king, whom his mother instructed.

2 What wilt thou keep, my son, what? the words of God. My firstborn son, I speak to thee: what? 1son of my womb? what? son of my vows? 3 Give not thy wealth to women, nor thy mind and living to remorse. Do all things with counsel: drink wine with counsel. 4 Princes are prone to anger: let them then not drink wine: 5 lest they drink, and forget wisdom, and be not able to judge the poor rightly. 6 Give strong drink to those that are in sorrow, and the wine to drink to those in pain: 7 that they may forget their poverty, and may not remember their troubles any more. 8 Open thy mouth with the word of God, and judge all fairly. 9 Open thy mouth and judge justly, and plead the cause of the poor and weak.

Chapter 25

1 These are the 2miscellaneous instructions of Solomon, which the friends of Ezekias king of Judea copied out.

2 The glory of God conceals a matter: but the glory of a king honours business. 3 Heaven is high, and earth is deep, and a king’s heart is unsearchable. 4 Beat the drossy silver, and it shall be made entirely pure. 5 Slay the ungodly from before the king, and his throne shall prosper in righteousness.

6 Be not boastful in the presence of the king, and remain not in the places of princes; 7 for it is better for thee that it should be said, Come up to me, than that one should humble thee in the presence of the prince; speak of that which thine eyes have seen.

8 Get not suddenly into a quarrel, lest thou repent at last. 9 Whenever thy friend shall reproach thee, retreat backward, despise him not; 10 lest thy friend continue to reproach thee, so thy quarrel and enmity shall not depart, but shall be to thee like death. Favour and friendship set a man free, which do thou keep for thyself, lest thou be made liable to reproach; but take heed to thy ways peaceably.

11 As a golden apple in a necklace of sardius, so is it to speak a wise word. 12 In an ear-ring of gold a precious sardius is also set; so is a wise word to an obedient ear. 13 As a fall of snow in the time of harvest is good against heat, so a faithful messenger refreshes those that send him; for he helps the souls of his employers.

14 As winds and clouds and rains are most evident objects, so is he that boasts of a false gift. 15 In long-suffering is prosperity to kings, and a soft tongue breaks the bones. 16 Having found honey, eat only what is enough, lest haply thou be filled, and vomit it up. 17 Enter sparingly into thy friend’s house, lest he be satiated with thy company, and hate thee. 18 As a club, and a dagger, and a pointed arrow, so also is a man who bears false witness against his friend.


19 The way of the wicked and the foot of the transgressor shall perish in an evil day.

20 As vinegar is bad for a sore, so trouble befalling the body afflicts the heart. As a moth in a garment, and a worm in wood, so the grief of a man hurts the heart.

21 If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; 22 for so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee with good. 23 The north wind raises clouds; so an impudent face provokes the tongue. 24 It is better to dwell on a corner of the roof, than with a railing woman in an open house. 25 As cold water is agreeable to a thirsting soul, so is a good message from a land far off. 26 As if one should stop a well, and corrupt a spring of water, so is it unseemly for a righteous man to fall before an ungodly man. 27 It is not good to eat much honey; but it is right to honour venerable sayings. 28 As a city whose walls are broken down, and which is unfortified, so is a man who does anything without counsel.

1 The usual punctuation has been altered.

2 Possibly genuine, q.d. beyond doubt.


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